I found this thread rather kick a** from the Contractor Talk forum:
Original Post from — katoman:
I was thinking about how it is I’ve never been unemployed through good times and hard times. Not boasting at all. I think a big part of why I get work is because the customer sees the passion I have for the work.
They realize this guy loves what he does, he cares as much or more than I do about a perfect job. He’s the guy I want to do the work. Even if I’m more money.
If you approach customers like they are just number 24 out of a projected 45 jobs you need to do this year, you’re toast.
This is their HOME. They care (well most do) deeply about what you are going to do there. They want someone who cares about how the job will finish up. It’s up to you to portray that to them.
But if you don’t have that passion, it will show.
Just my 2 cents.
A. Spruce says:
You’re just copying what I said last night!
I feel the same way. That’s why I tell clients to take money out of the equation when they’re telling me what they want. All too often people think something is going to be expensive, so they choke up and ask for the cheapest possible job. I also make it clear to them that it’s their house, their money, they should be getting what they want, not be told by me or anyone else what they should have. Make them part of the decision making process.
The icing on the cake is when I tell them that I won’t do anything in their home that I would not do or accept in my own, that includes keeping a clean work space, using care not to disrupt the whole house unnecessarily, and clean up the area at night, usually taking all my tools with me or neatly stacking them in the corner.
Mike’s Plumbing says:
Kato, this is not directed at you but more of a discussion. The simple fact is many times “being the best” is an illusion and the marketplace is different for many. In my new town I am surrounded by top notch plumbers, I mean top notch. Quality is just not enough.
Also, what the customer views as quality is not always the same as how we see it. It’s impossible to eliminate the competition totally because if the was the case they would all go belly up.
You have a good point though and I follow the same mantra as you. But here in my market I’m surrounded by awesome tradesman. While being surrounded we are all dealing with a shrinking supply of work. With that said I don’t subscribe to the “I’m quality and nobody else is” that’s not true, it’s a myth.
To get a leg up on competition you have to go above the “quality” illusion and offer more. This is why Facebook, internet, Twitter etc is so popular with businesses.
Right now we have lots of contractors who do great quality work but are being toasted by the market. This of course is why a sound marketing plan is very important. Again, a market where the competition is small and plenty of people who need work can be an illusion for “getting it right”
It’s kind of like making money in a bull market and thinking your a top notch investor.
Mike makes valid points of how some people have been getting into, or have gotten into construction for the wrong reasons. Then they wonder why they have no work.
I spent 10 years becoming a proficient carpenter before I felt fully qualified in the trade. That’s formwork to built in cabinetry. These days some guy works for two years and thinks he know it all.
It takes time, energy, passion, skill, etc. The customers see this, they’re not stupid. Most of my clients are smarter than I am. Think they made their money being dumb?
Which just goes back to what Spruce says – value for your dollar. But first and foremost is the quality of the work.
Mike Finley says:
Clients buy from those they like.
That means those that make them feel comfortable, those that make them feel confident.
It’s pretty basic when you think about it. If you were going to hire somebody to build you a deck, one guy shows up and shows you some pictures, goes right to pricing, tries to make a deal. Another guy shows up, talks to you like a person, asks you questions about personal tihngs that interest you, shows you pics of his work, looks over the job, gets on his hands and knees, points out issues, asks you questions, gets excited about the job, offers up suggestions, refers to past projects similar to yours, talks about the final outcome, tries to paint a picture in the customers mind how its going to turn out, gets excited, smiles, shows his passion ect…
I know who I’m liable to hire and liable to pay more for.
It seems so easy sometimes when you think about it in the terms you laid out Katoman.